Tag Archives: NES Lesson-GENESIS:What Are We Made Of?

NES Professional Development Web Seminars This Week

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Professional Development Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting two 90-minute live professional development Web seminars for educators this week.

Chemical Elements: Genesis — What Are We Made Of?

On May 1, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. EDT, learn how to use the “What Are We Made Of?” hands-on activity to integrate mathematics and physical science in your classroom. Discover how students can use statistical sampling to estimate the chemical composition of the sun by analyzing data in a way similar to the one used by scientists who analyzed solar particles collected by the Genesis spacecraft. For more information and to register online, visit the NSTA Learning Center.

Temperature and Earth Climate: Modeling Hot and Cold Planets

On May 2, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. EDT learn how to use NASA mission data collected from NASA satellites to see how a planet’s climate is determined. Attend this session and discover how you can incorporate authentic NASA data into your classroom to provide a real-world connection for your students. For more information and to register online, visit the NSTA Learning Center.

This is the last time these seminars will be offered during the current school year.

Professional Development Web Seminar: Chemical Elements–What are We Made Of?

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Professional Development Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on Jan. 23, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. EST. Learn how to use the “What Are We Made Of?” hands-on activity to integrate mathematics and physical science in your classroom. Discover how students can use statistical sampling to estimate the chemical composition of the sun by analyzing data in a way similar to the one used by scientists who analyzed solar particles collected by the Genesis spacecraft.

For more information and to register online, visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES3/webseminar23.aspx.

NASA Mission Suggests Sun and Planets Formed Differently

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Artist rendition of GENESIS satellite in orbit around Earth.Analysis from NASA’s Genesis mission indicates our sun and its inner planets may have formed differently than previously believed.

Slight differences exist in the types of oxygen and nitrogen present on the sun and planets. Although the differences are slight, they could help determine how our solar system evolved.

“The implication is that we did not form out of the same solar nebula materials that created the sun — just how and why remains to be discovered,” said Kevin McKeegan, a Genesis co-investigator from the University of California, Los Angeles and the lead author of one of two science papers published recently.

For current updates, go to the GENESIS mission website when you’re teaching either of the NES lessons Chemical Elements: GENESIS — What Are We Made Of? (Grades 5-8) or Graph Analysis: GENESIS — Exploring Data (Grades 10-12).

Herschel Telescope Detects Oxygen Molecules in Space

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Artist's concept of a collection of oxygen molecules superimposed over an image of the Orion nebula taken in infrared lightDetectors on the Herschel Space Observatory’s large telescope have provided the first confirmation of oxygen molecules in space. The molecules were detected within the Orion Nebula.

Individual atoms of oxygen are common in space but not molecular oxygen. Astronomers searched for the elusive molecules for decades using balloons, as well as ground- and space-based telescopes. The Swedish Odin telescope spotted the molecule in 2007, but the sighting could not be confirmed.

This information may be used with the NASA Explorer Schools activity, Genesis: What Are We Made Of? The Sun, Earth and You.

For more information about the NES Genesis activity, go to the activity page on the NES Virtual Campus. (requires log-in)

For more information on this topic, visit the Herschel website.

Link to the NES Virtual Campus participant’s home page.



NASA Now: Solar Storms

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NASA Now logo

Dr. Holly Gilbert discusses what a solar storm is and how it occurs. She explains how solar storms affect objects that aren’t protected by our atmosphere such as astronauts on the International Space Station.


Every day our Earth experiences storms of all kinds including thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes. One type of storm we often don’t realize we are experiencing is a solar storm. Thanks to our protective atmosphere and magnetic field called the magnetosphere, we’re safe from the dangers of solar storms.

NASA Now Minute: Solar Storms





Twin STEREO Probes Provide View of Entire Sun!

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On Feb. 6, NASA’s twin STEREO probes moved into position on opposite sides of the sun, and they now are beaming back uninterrupted images of the entire star — front and back.



”For the first time ever, we can watch solar activity in its full three-dimensional glory,” says Angelos Vourlidas, a member of the STEREO science team at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.


”This is a big moment in solar physics,” says Vourlidas. “STEREO has revealed the sun as it really is — a sphere of hot plasma and intricately woven magnetic fields.”

Read more about this story by logging into NEON, join the NASA Explorer Schools group, and find the “GENESIS: What Are We Made of? The Sun, Earth and You” forum. The complete write-up on this exciting new development is available in that forum.

STEREO VideoThis movie shows a spherical map of the Sun, formed from a combination of STEREO Ahead and Behind beacon images, along with an SDO/AIA image in between. The movie starts with the view of the Sun as seen from Earth, with the 0 degree meridian line in the middle. The map then rotates through 360 degrees to show the part of the Sun not visible from Earth. The black wedge shows the part of the Sun not yet visible to the STEREO spacecraft.

For more information about the STEREO spacecraft, visit the mission website.